It’s summer! Well it feels like it anyway. For me, that means dry lips. You would think it would happen more in the winter, but it doesn’t. Now….I make a pretty wicked lip balm. It rivals Burt’s Bees for sure and I will confess that I still use their balm as I love the colour Peony in their coloured balms, but if I want to use a balm for the sake of a balm and not the colour, I use my own. Balms are probably the easiest thing to make (other than bubble bars). You merely need a double boiler, a scale and a stove top. Some people use the microwave, but I prefer the control you get with a double boiler compared to the stove. If you don’t have a double boiler, making one is as simple as putting a heat safe vessel over a pot of water. A thermometer is helpful, although not necessary as the only real temperature you need to know is 40C and that is pretty close to our body temperature so you can just go by feel when adding the essential oils and vitamin E.
Recipe (each 5 g makes one tube of lip balm):
- 32.5% Fractionated Coconut Oil – or any other oil that absorbs relatively quickly such as sweet almond, apricot kernel, soy bean, or sunflower.
- 26.5% Shea Butter – I use natural shea, it has more minerals than the refined… some people find the refined easier to work with though.
- 13% Jojoba Oil, Golden – the jojoba adds a little more barrier to it and makes it less waxy.
- 26% Beeswax I use the premium gold… it has many soothing properties.
- 1% Vitamin E – Used as an antioxidant to prolong the life of the balm, also has skin soothing properties.
- 0.05% Lavender Essential Oil– I use the French Fine High Altitude as it’s a nicer product.
- 0.05% Spearmint Essential Oil or Peppermint Essential Oil – I use the Peppermint USA Essential oil when I use peppermint as it has a cleaner scent, but any peppermint will do, it provides that cooling sensation on your lips that most people like. For this batch I used Spearmint as it’s safer for kids.
- Don’t forget the lip balm tubes!
- Melt the beeswax, oils and butter in a double boiler until melted, do not overheat.
- Remove from heat.
- Place the thermometer in the balm (keeping it in the middle). Let cool to 110F (44C) so that the Vitamin E and essential oils do not flash (disappear). If you do not have a thermometer, body temperature is 37C, so if the balm feels really hot when you touch the side of the vessel, then it’s not cool enough to add the heat sensitive ingredients. It should just feel warm to the touch.
- Add Essential Oils and Vitamin E.
- Stir well.
- Pour or pipette into lip balm tubes. Do not cap.
- When cool, close lid tightly, label and shrink wrap.
Note: If the balm starts to solidify before you can pour or pipette it all into the tubes, just put the vessel that contains the balm back on the warm water from the double boiler. It will melt again without flashing off the essential oils and vitamin E.
To customize this balm to your particular needs keep in mind that to make a softer balm you add more oil or reduce the beeswax percentage, and for a firmer balm you do the opposite… reduce the oil or add more beeswax. It does take trial and error to get it the consistency that you want. You can always check it, by taking some out and placing it on a clean cool surface. It will cool quickly. This is another reason why a double boiler is nicer, you can control the temperature for longer periods of time and have more play time.
Enjoy your lip balm making experience!